Gold ornament in the form of a wild goose on reeds

Artist: Kōno Haruaki 河野春明 (1787-1859)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 19th century
Cast gold, with hammering, chasing, engraving, and repoussé
H x W x D (assembled): 3.6 x 8.5 x 4.4 cm (1 7/16 x 3 3/8 x 1 3/4 in)
Japan, Tokyo
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Sculpture

Figure: bird

Edo period (1615 - 1868), goose, Japan
Provenance research underway.

Objects made of gold are uncommon in Japan, where other symbols of prestige and value, such as calligraphy or ceramic tea bowls, often took precedence. During the Edo period (1615-1868), the government regulated the display of wealth. Gold objects became the privilege of the uppermost social classes or the secret treasures of wealthy merchants. This gold goose sleeping on reeds reflects the Japanese taste for naturalistic representation. The ornament may have been displayed in the tokonoma or used as a luxurious paper weight on a writing desk. The fine workmanship reflects the artistry of its creator, a prominent maker of sword fittings.

Published References
  • Martin Feddersen. Japanese Decorative Art: A Handbook for Collectors and Connoisseurs., 1st American ed. New York. p. 143, fig. 129.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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